Fairfield Twp. is ready to re-open its dog park after moving it to a drier location.
Trustees and the Fairfield Twp. Parks Committee decided to move the park because it frequently retained water. They also made some improvements to the original design by Holly Wolfe, the Girl Scout who built it in 2010 for her Gold Award project.
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The grand opening of the renamed Schafers Run Dog Park at 6485 Vonnie Vale Court — complete with a ribbon cutting and a small gift for the first 250 attending — is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19.
Fairfield Twp. Trustee Joe McAbee, who is on the Fairfield Twp. Parks Committee, said the dog park has been very popular “but very wet.”
“We moved the park over, turned it to a better location and replaced the fence, added equipment and divided it into two sections,” he said.
One section is for smaller dogs and one is for larger dogs, and there’s a paved walkway from the parking lot to the entrance of the dog park.
Dog parks have been a growing trend as there are dog parks in West Chester Twp., Hamilton and Oxford, and Fairfield is planning to build one this year.
“I guess you’re not anybody unless you’ve got a dog park,” said Carol Oler, the parks committee chair.
The dog park was originally called Holly’s Dog Park for the Girl Scout who built the wooden fence park with help from community and family members. It grew in popularity, and Oler said, “It surprised us how many people used it. A lot of people used the dog park.”
“This is the new trend, but it’s been a trend for a while,” she said. “More and more of these new homes don’t have big yards. People have small yards or have condos.”
Animal Friends Humane Society will be at the opening of the re-imagined dog park.
“It’s great for a community to have,” said Tara Bowser, interim director at Animal Friends. “It’s great, especially for the township to accommodate a small dog area and larger dog area sized dogs.”
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It’s not only a plus for the pet owner, but for the pet itself, she said.
“Not everyone has a fenced-in yard, and it’s a place for them to escape to and to socialize with other pet parents, and for dogs to socialize with other dogs,” Bowser said.
McAbee said the dog park renovations are just a start of the park committee’s vision.
“This is the first step in our park renovations. We are looking at newer safer playground equipment as well as additional parking in both parks,” he said.